5 Newbie Tips for Elder Scrolls Online

Returning to Elder Scrolls Online

A long time ago, I was a beta tester for Elder Scrolls Online (ESO), a massive multiplayer online game (MMO) set in the world of Tamriel. I’m a huge fan of Oblivion and Skyrim. So an MMO of Elder Scrolls sounded like a great idea to me when it was first announced. I use to be a big MMO player back when Final Fantasy XI was around (2002). Since then I haven’t been able to pick up any MMOs and really want to play them (and pay the subscription fee).

After the beta was over for Elder Scrolls Online, I decided not to purchase it. I thought I wouldn’t be playing it enough to justify the $15 per month subscription fee (which I feel about most MMOs). A year has gone by since the release of ESO and I just purchased the game from Green Man Gaming (Only $12!!!). Even though the game was on sale, the real selling point for me was that they have stopped with the mandatory subscription membership. Now they do have an ESO Plus membership, which you pay monthly and get special in-game items and DLCs but that membership is optional. Usually once you hear that a game is dropping the subscriptions you think the game is going down hill, though with the game going on sale this week, I have to say there were a good number of people playing this game. Which is why I have created this list of 5 tips for newbie ESO players.


5 Tips for Newbie ESO Players:

1. Know Your Fractions/Alliance

This tip mostly has to do with if you want to play with your friends on ESO. There are 9 races to choose from in ESO and they are broken up into three fractions; Daggerfall Covenant, Ebonheart Pact, and Aldmeri Dominion. In order to play with your friends, you are going to have to pick the same fraction/alliance. The storyline of ESO is that the three fractions are at war with each other. So unless you want to be enemies with your friends, then pick the same fraction in order to do missions together and fight together in PVP. Now you can make up to 8 characters and so you can pick different fractions for each.

2. Match Up Your Character’s Race with Class

There are four classes to choose from currently in Elder Scrolls Online; Dragon Knight, Sorcerer, Nightblade, Templar. Dragon Knight is more of your warrior/tank class with the power of fire to add to your damage. Sorcerer is your mage class; long range damage with elemental and summoning powers. Nightblade is your theft/assassin class; this class is great for you stealth/surprise attacks. Templar is the most diverse class in the game, you can fill a number of roles including tanking and healing.

Like I mentioned before, there are nine races to choose from in ESO. Some of the races have special perks that work well with certain classes.

ESO Races and their Racial Skills


  • Light Armor Affinity – Increases experience gain with Light Armor by 15%.
  • Gift of Magnus – Increases maximum Magicka by 4/7/10%.
  • Spell Resistance – Increases spell resistance by 2/4/6.
  • Magicka Mastery – Reduces the Magicka cost of spells by 1/2/3%.

Suggested Classes: Sorcerer or Templar.



  • Shield Affinity – Increases experience gain with One-Handed and Shield skill line by 15%
  • Vigor – Increases Stamina recovery while in combat by 3/6/9%.
  • Conditioning – Increases max Stamina by 4/7/10%.
  • Adrenaline Rush – Restores 1/2/3 Stamina to player when damaging an enemy with a Melee attack. This can happen no more than once every 3 seconds.

Suggested Classes: Dragon Knight or Nightblade


Orc (Orsimer):

  • Heavy Armor Expertise – Increases experience gain with Heavy Armor Skill line by 15%.
  • Brawny – Increases max Health and Stamina by 2/4/6%.
  • Robust – Increases Health regeneration while in combat by 5/10/15%.
  • Swift – Reduces Sprint cost by 4/8/12% and increases Sprint speed by 3/6/9%.

Suggested Classes: Templar or Dragon Knight


High Elf (Altmer)

  • Destruction Talent – Increases experience gain with the Destruction Staff skill line by 15%.
  • Spellcharge – Increases Magicka recovery while in combat by 3/6/9%.
  • Gift of Magnus – Increases max Magicka by 4/8/12%.
  • Elemental Talent – Increases damage with Cold, Fire or Shock effects by 2/3/4%.

Suggested Classes: Templar or Sorcerer


Wood Elf (Bosmer)

  • Archery Expertise – Increases experience gain with the Bow Skill line by 15%.
  • Vigor – Increases Stamina recovery while in combat by 3/6/9%.
  • Resist Affliction – Increases poison and disease resistance by 7/14/21. Increases maximum Stamina by 1/2/3%.
  • Stealthy – Improves Stealth radius by 1/2/3 meter. Increases damage done while in Stealth mode by 3/6/9%.

Suggested Class: Nightblade



  • Medium Armor Expertise – Increases experience gain with the Medium Armor Skill line by 15%.
  • Robust – Increases Health regeneration while in combat by 5/10/15%.
  • Stealthy – Improves Stealth radius by 1/2/3 meter. Increases damage done while Stealthed by 3/6/9%.
  • Carnage – Increases Critical rating for melee attacks by 1/2/3% and damage done by successful Critical Hits by 5/10/15%.

Suggested Classes: Nightblade or Dragon Knight



  • Two-Handed Expertise – Increases the experience gain with the Two-Handed Weapon skill line by 15%.
  • Robust – Increases Health regeneration while in combat by 5/10/15%.
  • Resist Frost – Increases Cold Resistance by 10/20/30. Increases maximum health by 1/2/3%.
  • Rugged – Increases Armor by 2/4/6.

Suggested Classes: Templar or Dragon Knight


Dark Elves (Dunmer)

  • Ambidexterity – Increases experience gain with the Dual Wield skill line by 15%.
  • Dynamic – Increases max Magicka and Stamina by 2/4/6%.
  • Resist Flame – Increases Fire Resistance by 10/21/32. Increases max Magicka by 1/2/3%.
  • Flame Talent – Increases Spell Power with fire effects by 1/2/3.

Suggested Classes: Sorcerer or Dragonknight



  • Restoration Expertise – Increases experience gain with the Restoration Skill line by 15%.
  • Amphibious – Increases swimming speed by 50% and the effectiveness of potions by 5/10/15%.
  • Argonian Resistance – Increases maximum Health by 1/2/3% and Poison and Disease resistance by 7/14/21.
  • Quick to Mend – Increases healing received by 2/4/6%.

Suggested Classes: Templar or Nightblade



3. Soul Gems, Action Bar and Quickslot Can Save Your Life

Soul Gems:

Soul Gems are used for resurrecting yourself and your allies, as well as keeping weapons and armor enchanted. This is pretty important if you are in an area that doesn’t have a Wayshrine (the spot were you resurrect to after you die) nearby. Let’s say you are in the middle of a quest and you die in the dungeon, well if you don’t have a soul gem you could be starting outside of the dungeon again and have to restart the whole thing (especially if the creeps have respawned). With a soul gem, you get to be resurrected where you died. Now when you first, get resurrected with a soul gem you start out as like a ghost for a few seconds. Make sure you move away from the creeps in order to heal a bit after resurrecting.


Action Bar:

Also known as a hot key bar. This is were you put all of your skills for combat. I am pretty bummed that ESO only allows 8 slots at a time (one for ultimate and one for quickslot). It does feel a bit restrictive. You do get a second action bar later on in the game, when you unlock being able to swap out weapons. With the limited number of slots in mind, really think about what kind of build you want for your character. I suggest researching builds for your race/class which gives you some ideas as to how to setup your action bar for maximum benefit.



Your quickslot is a part of your action bar but also has its one separate menu (hit Q on pc). Here you load the potions you want quick access to. This is extremely helpful if you are soloing and can’t heal magically. One potion could be life or death in a battle.


4. Be Mindful of Your Quest Level

After getting a new quest, I would check out your Journal (J on PC) to see what level the quest is and it’s color. If the quest is green or yellow, it should be fine to complete solo at your current level. If you see the quest name in orange or red, you might want to level up first or take a first.

Now there are some quests/dungeons that have a little plus (+) sign next to it, that means you need a group in order to complete. The first group dungeon that I did (the Banishing Cells mission) was extremely hard. I even had a level 31 in the group and we still died multiple times. Those are the missions you want to be sure you have enough soul gems and potions for.


5. PVP/Campaign is No Joke

Once you hit level 10, you unlock the campaign section of the game with offers PVP and separate missions. Like I mentioned before, the three fractions are at war and the campaign area is the battleground. You will be fighting other players from the other fractions in order to take control of areas on the map. I’ve only just started this area of the game, but I can already tell you its no joke (especially if you are in the lower levels). I’m currently level 17 and I was having a difficult time with the pvp. Most of the players on here are higher levels (like 30’s and 40’s).  My best advice for this area is do the scouting missions until you level up. As a Nightblade, its easier for me to sneak around the map and scout locations than it is to go head first into battle.

If you want to go into a fight. Make sure you have a lot of allies with ya (higher level the better). The bow was my best friend in a PVP battle. I got to stay away from the main attack, but got a few hits in that it still gave me some credit when the other people died.


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